Next steps – copyright
What do you actually own when you take a photo? And how do you protect the assets that you create? We run you through the basics…
Where do you stand if your pictures are used without your permission? Discover the rights inherent on your images – and how to enforce them.
What is copyright?
Upon its capture, every image has a series of rights that are attached to it – entitlements to do something with the shot. Copyright is one of these, and gives its owner the exclusive ability to exploit the photo in a number of ways, including its sharing and copying both online and off, and the right to act against those who infringe this. Usually, the person who created the image (you) will be the copyrights initial holder, but this changes if the shot was produced as part of the creator’s employment or under certain contracts. The owner is able to assign or transfer their copyright to another person or organisation, or license it’s use to them, usually in return for a payment and for a specific period of time. Picture or ‘Stock’ libraries like Getty or Alamy make money by licensing images on an owner’s behalf and with their permission, in return for a fee. The copyright of images in the UK lasts for the life of the creator plus 70 years from the end of the calendar year of their death. The owner of the copyright can choose to leave it, in a will, to whoever they like following their death. Finally, the copyright symbol or creator’s name does not have to be present next to an image’s use for it to be covered by it and protected.
You can find out more information online about copyright and images from the UK government’s Intellectual Property Office at bit.ly/1oaps1r.
Above The copyright licensing of images is a major source of revenue for many freelance photographers, it’s also how the stock photo libraries like Getty, istock and Alamy make their money.